Indian American star speller Samir Patel's dream of winning the prestigious spelling title ended with his elimination in the fifth round of the competition, thus keeping the Bee's biggest star and all time favourite out of the prime time championship rounds.
Out of other 10 kids only three Indian American kids, two girls -- Nithya Vijayakumar and Kavya Shivashankar, and one boy -- Prateek Kohli -- have advanced to the finals amongst 15 other spellers, out of the total of 286.
Samir had to spell the word "clevis," which he spelled as "clevice." And, with this ended his long cherished dream of winning the championship.
The crowd, including the remaining spellers on stage, rose in an unrehearsed standing ovation. But his family appealed, questioning the way the judges had pronounced the word. However, the appeal was denied.
Samir, 13, a sports fanatic, is being looked at as the "Dan Marino" of Spelling Bees. A voracious reader, whose favourite subject in school is Mathematics, has participated in the 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 national finals, tying for 3rd place in 2003, 27th place in 2004, 2nd place in 2006 and 14th in 2006.
This was his fifth and final national spelling Bee competition, which he was confident to win and be the numero uno speller.